Don't Worry Darling

Don’t Worry Darling – bold, brash and at times enthralling


Don’t Worry Darling is now showing in cinemas nationwide.

Whether you’re a film fan, barely go to the movies, or don’t even like cinema, you have probably heard of Don’t Worry Darling. The months leading up to its release and the alleged behind-the-scenes drama have snowballed into an unintentional (but perhaps radically helpful?) hyper-awareness of Olivia Wilde’s latest project. Every level of the media, from tabloid journalists to top-brass news outlets, have covered the rumoured casting clashes and firing backlashes – so much so that if you were to ask someone about the film, you’re likely to get a response relating to the drama rather than the movie. Needless to say, Don’t Worry Darling was thrust into the global spotlight, and many assumed it would be dead on arrival. So, removing all of the drama – what is the film like?

The hypnotically bedazzling Florence Pugh plays against newbie actor Harry Styles as a poster child 1950s couple, Alice and Jack, living out their days in the suburban utopia of ‘Victory’. The town operates like the epitomical dream of any Conservative man – the husbands go off to work while the wives stay home and obediently shine their interior-designed cages. The generational nostalgia for periods like the 40s and 50s is cleverly preyed upon by Wilde and screenwriter Katie Silberman, allowing the pair to slowly poison our sanitised reflections of both eras as Alice looks closer at the Americana façade of it all.


Some of Wilde’s visual metaphors are smart, playing up their inherent horror like Alice’s imagined suffocation within the walls of her domicile. Still, there are one too many moments of drowning that feel too on the nose. Here the struggle to strike the right balance underpins Don’t Worry Darling.

It’s impossible to talk about this thriller without discussing the Styles in the room; thankfully, the rumours of his awfulness are exaggerated. While Jack’s accent became a point of contention thanks to a widely-memeified marketing clip, Styles mainly fulfils the challenge set out before him as a loving-but-amiss husband. However, he struggles to rise to the couple’s most dramatic confrontations, especially against such a compelling performer as Pugh, who is essentially Hollywood magic at this point.

FLORENCE PUGH as Alice in New Line Cinema’s “DON’T WORRY DARLING,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Ironically, the weakest performer in Don’t Worry Darling is the director herself as best friend Bunny. The appearance of a Director in their own film is distracting enough when they play small cameos, let alone a supporting role. This is where the irony of the drama begins to seep into the film, as Pugh and Wilde play best friends on-screen while screaming at each other off camera. Their relationship is shallow, with Wilde failing to rouse any convincing performance beyond the typical disconnected and blasé housewife.


As we follow Alice in her quest to find answers to the increasingly strange and perhaps malicious goings on in Victory, we become entangled in a web of ideas, some strong and others weak in execution. Repeated flashes of burlesque women dancing as a uniform mass ornament hint at the more profound, psychological themes not only of the town but our obsession with spectacle and nostalgia. However, the film spends that potential quickly, crashing itself headfirst into more of a shallow Black Mirror-esque bent that undermines much of the complexities that it initially teases out. It’s not hard to tell where Don’t Worry Darling is taking you, but the problem is the film doesn’t realise that you already know – it’s tough to thrill an audience when they’re already two steps ahead. 


There are some genuinely fantastic moments as Alice attempts to unravel the thread she can’t help but pull on, and Pugh, as usual, is a tour-de-force; there are few actors that can not only dominate a film but lift it to a level of greatness it couldn’t have achieved without them. Likewise, there are sections of Don’t Worry Darling that prove Olivia Wilde can deliver a bolder, more striking feature in the future beyond her comedic skills with Booksmart.

There’s an undeniable admiration for Don’t Worry Darling in its attempt at a sleek, seductive thriller that feels original; it doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s bold, brash and at times enthralling.


  • Don't Worry Darling


There’s an undeniable admiration for Don’t Worry Darling in its attempt at a sleek, seductive thriller that feels original; it doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s bold, brash and at times enthralling.

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